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Think All Home Inspectors Are Created Equal?

I'm sure the title to my blog is not a surprise to anyone but I thought I would share an experience with you.  I am leaving company names out to protect those involved.

I recently had a situation where I listed a vacant home which was occupied by a young lady that passed away. Her family which lived outside the state handled the listing.

After the listing we soon received an offer and the home went into escrow.  The inspection was done by the buyer's inspection company which was a large franchise company.  In the report the inspector noted there was water in the crawl area.  The inspector went on to say there was water in the crawl area of some of the neighbor's homes and that a "High Water Table" existed.

We proceeded to get second and third opinions which consisted of a city building official and a private contractor.  Both the city official and private contractor concurred with the private home inspector that a high water table existed

I had a hard time believing a high water table existed since some of the homes in the area had dry crawl spaces.

I finally remembered there was a home inspector in our area that was once a foreman for a large commercial contractor that was responsible for constructing many large commercial buildings.  "Joe" decided to leave the commercial construction business after years of doing it and became a full time home inspector.

I phoned Joe and asked if he would take a look at this subject home and explained the issue at hand.  He said he would.  As soon as Joe and I pulled up to the home he pointed to the home and said "There is your problem".  I said "Huh"?   Joe pointed out that the lot in front of a bay window had settled and the water from sprinkles, rain and snow was draining towards the home.  He said when it reached the low point it follow a large sewer cleanout pipe down to the bottom and then entered the crawl area.  Joe took me into the crawl area and showed me where the water had been entering the concrete foundation.

Amazing!  We immediately called a landscaped company and had them build up the area in front of the bay window.  They hauled in a lot of dirt and replaced the landscaping. 

After the landscapers were done we turned on the sprinklers and let them run overtime.  This took care of the problem and the crawl area became dry as a bone!

Here we had a national franchise home inspection company, city building official and building contractor tell us something that was not true!

A home inspector that learned his trade the hard way with thousands of hours of hard physical work not only saved a sale but saved the sellers thousands of dollars in expense to sell their daughters home.

Thank you Joe!

Native Idahoan and Boise Idaho Real Estate specialist serving Boise, Meridian Eagle, Nampa, Caldwell and the surrounding Treasure valley area of southwest Idaho. Specializing in residential, investment, land and commercial real estate. Search thousands of MLS listings at Boise Homes for sale and learn all about Idaho by visiting Search Idaho Homes

Comment balloon 19 commentsGeorge Tallabas • July 26 2007 06:18PM

Comments

Without a doubt, inspectors can make or break a deal! There's a fine line between finding too many problems and not finding enough and the inspector's experience plays an integral role in his effectiveness and reliability. Nice post George!
Posted by Ryan Hukill - Edmond, Realtor, Team Lead (ShowMeOKC Real Estate Pros of KW Elite) over 11 years ago

Very good post, here is one that I posted on my site just a few months ago....

View it at http://www.tampawestrealtor.com/myblog

Home Inspections March 7th, 2007 12:19 PM

All home inspectors are not created equal! Just so know, to be a home inspector in Florida you only need a business license. When finding a home inspector, make sure they are ASHI certified. This will not be a guarantee that you will get a perfect inspection, but it will definately raise your chances. They have a person on staff that is a licensed contractor. Especially if you are buying a home more than 50 years old, you will need this as insurance companies require what is called a 4 point inspection that must be reviewed by a licensed contractor. If you get some unreputable inspector, not only do you run a better chance of not finding any existing problems, but may have to pay for an additional inspection.

Example:

 In January I represented a buyer looking for a home in the Clearwater area. The one we found had a contract on it, but had expired so the listing agent put it back on the market. We made an offer, the seller accepted our offer, the previous contract was null and void and we initiated the inspections. Our inspector found a roof leak and a plumbing leak in the hot water system that was not disclosed to us. The previous buyer had already completed all of his inspections.

This tells me that the first inspector did not find the roof leak or plumbing leak and in addition did not find the numerous minor items per our inspection. This is just a lesson to be learned, make sure you hire a reputable inspector, the few dollars you save now could cost you much more down the road.

Anyway it was a happy ending, the buyer still bought the home and the problems were corrected before closing by the seller. If our inspector did not find them, the buyer would be out about $3000 plus in repairs down the road.


Posted by Damon Desautel on March 7th, 2007 12:19 PMPost a Comment (0)

Posted by Damon Desautel (DJB Realty LLC) over 11 years ago

Ryan - Right on my friend.  Have a great evening!

Damon -  Thank you but I have to tell you the 1st inspector that said there was a high water table was ASHI certified!  The last home inspector that found the problem was not!

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago

Hi George. One of the things that I believe is missing in the home inspection process (not all inspectors, mind you, but many) is that they tell the buyer that there is a problem but don't tell the buyer how this problem can be corrected. Some things have quick and easy fixes but the buyer doesn't realize that and before you know it...it gets blown out of proportion and threatens the deal! A good home inspector should point out the problems or potential problems with the home, but also say whether it is a health and safety concern, whether it can be fixed (like, say, with a little grading), and also whether it is simply a result of poor maintenance that can be overcome with proper maintenance! Only then can a buyer make an educated decision about what to ask the seller to fix, or whether to proceed to purchase the house. Thanks for your post!

Posted by Kelly Sibilsky (Licensed Through Referral Connection, LTD.) over 11 years ago
Like any business it doesn't take very long to figure out the good ones from the bad ones. I take it that the original Buyers walked away - if they did it's too bad because they obviously felt this was the right house for them.
Posted by Wayne McMullan, Quinte Real Estate (Royal LePage ProAlliance Realty) over 11 years ago
Kelly - Thank you my friend.  I always appreciate your comments and value your opinion.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
Wayne - The original buyers almost walked away but did not.  They hung in there and are praising this home inspector for discovering something so simple that other professionals could not.  Thank you.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago

Agreed, George, you cannot replace experience with a certification...a have a couple great inspectors that I use...they happen to be certified.

Had a buyer in April that bought a condo..inspector's exact words (as I was standing there) " AC system is operating property, BUT, is at the end of its life, could go at any time" I called the buyer recently to see how things were going and they were upset that the inspector never told them about the problem. I checked the report...it stated the problem. Heck, we even tried to get the seller to give a credit after the inspection, but he denied.

Thats why, no matter how good they are, I will never directly refer anyone, except maybe to my mom!!

 

Posted by Damon Desautel (DJB Realty LLC) over 11 years ago
Damon - Thank you so much..."Experience is Priceless"!
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago

Two thumbs up George and the friendly, well experienced home inspector "Joe".  I agree with everything said.   It takes a well experienced, qualified inspector in his field to get the job done right the first time.

You don't know how many times I've ran across clients that discuss with me how dissappointed they were about the home inspector suggested by their real estate agent.  Instead they wish they had done their own research for their own home inspector.  Many tears, dissappointments, and thousands of dollars later the problems were handled and could have been well prevented before the deal even closed. 

Posted by Joseph Ayscue (Examiner Home Inspections, LLC) over 11 years ago
Thank you Joseph for the two thumbs up.  I hope all is well and good luck to you.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago

George... this is a great story. I guess this coincides with many people that we call professionals. Some just assume that if they work for a large company with a good name, that they are very good. Or, just because you bring in a lot of business, that you must be good. This is also not always true. You might just be good at sales, but don't know your product that well.

Overall, as you stated and a few others, that it takes someone well-experienced  and qualified person.

jeff belonger

Posted by Jeff Belonger, The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans ( Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc) over 11 years ago
Thank you Jeff....I just believe in good honest, hard working and experienced people that have a passion for their profession.  Too many Realtors stick a sign on the front of their building and call themselves Realtors without good intentions and ethics.  The same applies for home inspectors. Some go to a class, watch training videos, listen to speakers and call themselves home inspectors and they are far from it.  Joe was a commercial foreman for years and built commercial buildings from the ground up.  He is as sincere, honest and kind as they come aside from being an awesome inspector.   Thanks and have a great evening.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago

by the way....  my sister and brother-in-law ran into something like this, but after the fact. Meaning....  3 years later, they are told that who ever did their home inspection didn't do a good job. It has now cost them about $6,000 to $8,000.....  I wrote about this a few months ago to make consumers aware of who they chose, just as you did here. Again, nice job and a great ending.

 

Posted by Jeff Belonger, The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans ( Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc) over 11 years ago
Jeff - Sorry about the experience your sister and brother in law went through.  It is amazing the difference in professionals in every profession.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago

George- Good work, with alittle investigative work you found out what looked like a major problem turned out to be something small and easily corrected.

Posted by Anonymous over 11 years ago
Thank you whoever you are?
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
George- I forgot to log in when I left the comment about the investigative work.
Posted by Robert Schwabe, Orange Park Real Estate (EXP Realty) over 11 years ago
Not a problem Robert...thanks and have a great weekend.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago

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